We’re over halfway through one of the worst Julys in recent memory at the box office and the release of three new movies in wide release, including two sequels, wasn’t enough to revive things as 20th Century Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes remained in first place for a second weekend in a row with $36 million.
That was down about 50% from its opening weekend, which isn’t great, but it isn’t bad compared to some of the summer’s other big sequels which fell much harder in their second weekend. So far, the sci-fi thriller directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) has grossed $139 million domestically after just ten days. Overseas, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes added $61 million for an international total of $103 million and worldwide total of $242 million.
Faring the best of the new releases, James DeMonaco’s violent sequel to the 2013 surprise hit The Purge: Anarchy (Universal), starring Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Michael K. Williams and Zach Gilford, opened with $28.3 million in 2,805 theaters, approximately $10 thousand per location. While this was down from the $34.1 million opening of the original movie, the sequel was still made on a fairly modest $9 million budget, putting it already into the black just from its opening weekend. “Anarchy’s” B CinemaScore isn’t great but it’s also better than the first movie and reviews were generally better as well. It’s possible that the sequel can achieve the original movie’s $64.5 million gross, although it does have a lot of competition in the coming weeks.
The second new sequel of the weekend was Planes: Fire & Rescue (Disney), featuring the voices of Dane Cook, Ed Harris, Julie Bowen and more, but it failed to open as well as the original with a third place opening of just $18 million in 3,826 theaters. The original Planes, originally meant as a Blu-ray/DVD-only release, grossed $90.3 million after a $22.2 million opening, although that amount may be tough even with very few family-friendly films opening in the coming weeks.
Despite having the biggest star power and reteaming two of the leads with the director of Sony’s 2011 hit Bad Teacher, the R-rated comedy Sex Tape, starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel, failed to meet even the lowest projections with a weak opening of $15 million to take fourth place. It did make another $3 million from 9 international markets including Australia, New Zealand and others, but most of that money came from Australia.
Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg’s global blockbuster Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount) added another $10 million domestically as it took fifth place for the weekend. With a four-week domestic gross of $227.2 million, the fourth “Transformers” movie is vying for the top movie of the summer domestically over X-Men: Days of Future Past (leveling off with a total gross of $230.5 million) but Disney’s Maleficent may have something to say about that (See below). Internationally, the film added another $81.2 million to take its overseas total to $659.1 million. Worldwide, Transformers: Age of Extinction has earned $886.3 million so far.
Sixth place went to the Melissa McCarthy comedy vehicle Tammy (Warner Bros.) with $7.6 million, bringing its total to $71.3 million.
Continuing to be one of Sony’s biggest hits of the summer, the Channing Tatum-Jonah Hill comedy police comedy 22 Jump Street dropped to seventh place with $4.7 million as it has reached $180.5 million to date.
Also dropping three places in its sixth weekend in the Top 10, DreamWorks Animation’s animated sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 took eighth place with $3.8 million and a relatively weak $160.7 million grossed domestically.
Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent (Walt Disney Studios) has now been in the Top 10 for eight weeks as it dropped one notch to ninth place with $3.3 million. With $228.3 million grossed in North America so far, the fairy tale reimagination is just $2 million away from becoming the top grossing movie of the summer. Even so, it’s very likely to soon fall behind Transformers: Age of Extinction which is trailing it by just a million while still playing in more theaters. Even so, Jolie’s latest added another $8 million overseas which brings its global total to just under $700 million.
The family sci-fi action-adventure Earth to Echo (Relativity) rounded out the Top 10 with slightly less than Maleficent, having grossed $32.1 million domestically, which isn’t bad when you consider that it cost $13 million to produce.
The Top 10 was down once again from last year, off 25% from the mid-July weekend when James (Insidious) Wan’s The Conjuring topped the box office with $42 million, followed by Despicable Me 2 with $25 million in its third weekend. Similar to this week, the other three new movies had disappointing openings with DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo having one of the animation studio’s worst openings ever with $21.3 million and the comic adaptations RED 2 (Summit) and R.I.P.D. opening in fifth and seventh place with $18 million and $12.7 million, respectively.
Another wide release with a lower profile than the other three, Daniel Lusko’s religious thriller Persecuted, starring James Remar, Fred Dalton Thompson, Gretchen Carlson, Dean Stockwell and Bruce Davison, opened in 736 theaters Friday where it grossed $959 thousand for the weekend, a measly $1,302 per theater.
After an impressive opening weekend, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (IFC Films), starring newcomer Ellan Coltrane, Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, expanded into 34 theaters where it grossed another $1.2 million, over $35,000 per theater. If it continues to do this well, it may become IFC’s first movie to expand into nationwide release in over 12 years when My Big Fat Greek Wedding played in 2,016 theaters.
That brings us to this weekend’s new limited releases.
Getting help to fund his new movie with a 2013 Kickstarter campaign, actor/filmmaker Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here (Focus Features), his follow-up to the 2004 cult hit Garden State, co-starring Kate Hudson, Josh Gad, Mandy Patinkin, Ashley Greene and more, opened in 68 theaters on Friday where it took in $495 thousand or $7,300 per site.
Not faring as well, Mike (Another Earth) Cahill’s sci-fi drama I Origins (Fox Searchlight), starring Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Steven Yeun and Astrid Berges-Frisbey, opened in four theaters in New York and L.A. with $28.7 thousand.
Michael Gondry’s quirky adaptation of the French novel Mood Indigo (Drafthouse Films), starring Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou and Omar Sy, brought in $25 thousand in two theaters, one in New York and one in L.A.